Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine
Erasmus James, King of Kid’s Paradise
by DC Green
Barrel Books. Australian, Junior, Young Adult. Paperback rrp $14.95 Each
Guest Reviewer – Jill Smith
Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine and Erasmus James, King of Kid’s Paradise are the first two books in a series by DC Green. They are about a teenage boy’s adventures, involving facing ones inner demons – literally!
Erasmus James is a nerdy kid who is bullied at school and, not lacking ego (or mouth to go with it), keeps getting himself into unhappy situations. His father is balding, kind hearted to the extent of being an animal hardship softie, and fills their home with a “menagerie of lame and useless creatures” in Erasmus’s opinion. His dad is also an inventor and the ‘Galactic Zapp Machine’ is his latest creation.
Naturally, ever inquisitive Erasmus ignores his Dad’s advice and, using the Galactic Zapp Machine, heads off to worlds unknown on his own. He ends up in Uponia ruled by King Reginald, where horses talk, chooks have right of way on the roads, and rats are friendly. During a crazy journey across Uponia to see ‘The Wonder’ Erasmus discovers he is being chased by flesh eating horses. He also finds out that he is the cause of economic disaster, mass suffering and unemployment on the planet because he offered King Reginald, the power crazed king, a wonderful invention; Kars! During all this Erasmus tries valiantly to believe he doesn’t really miss his dad or need to be rescued. This is the true heart of the story.
In Erasmus James King of Kid’s Paradise, our boy zaps to another world, where everyone is a kid and he is the king. At first he is consumed by power and drives his subjects crazy. Eventually realises that the rats who are their workers hide a dark and dangerous secret. Erasmus is determined to free his people from their clutches. He has to avoid being trampled on by a party of war rats in the process, not to mention being stomped on by his own subjects.
I loved these quirky, comic, fast paced books and chortled loudly throughout. The first book, Erasmus James and the Glactic Zapp Machine, is also available as a free online download at http://www.barrelbooks.com/.
This is a book for 8 to 14 year olds or anyone with a mindset in that age group.